It’s interesting that the style of beer called the Baltic porter has less in common with the porter, an English style of ale, than with a black lager. Despite the name, a Baltic porter is in fact a type of lager, meaning it’s fermented at low temperatures with different strains of yeast.

Lost Friend’s take, Varnas Baltic porter, comes in at 8 percent ABV and $14 per crowler. Our first impressions of this beer are that it’s sweet and caramel-flavored, followed by a pleasant nuttiness that reminds us of toasted nuts that would top a pastry.

After that, more of the darker, roasty-toasty flavors make their presence felt, building steadily rather than smacking us in the face with their progress along the Maillard reactions, though that flavor does build before the crisp lager finish leaves a lingering sweetness behind.

It’s a heavy beer to match that higher ABV, but it’s thoroughly drinkable. While we’d love to taste some of the dark fruit notes we’ve had in other examples of the style, we don’t mind the relatively straightforward way this beer’s flavor travels. 

Griffin Swartzell is a food reviewer and contributor for the Colorado Springs Indy. This Colorado Springs native joined as an intern in early 2014, freelancing until they joined the staff full-time in late 2015.